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6 hairless cat breeds

Hairless Sphynx cat on window seal advice

Hairless cat breeds are quite rare

© Shutterstock

Wonderful or just weird? Take a look at these 4 hairless cat breeds and fall in love with their smooth skin. The hairless variety is the most diverse of all cat breeds. 

By Dawn Parrish

Updated on the 26/10/2020, 16:52

Usually, when you think of a cat, you imagine it being a fluffy ball of fur. Well, as you probably know, not all cats are like that. They are called hairless cats. The atypical look of these cats are definitely the proof of the saying "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder" - When it comes to personal choice, most people are usually for or against hairless cat breeds. They either love them or detest them.

Of course, we absolutely love all kitty breeds and make no exception for hairless cats. These kitties with no hair actually make some of the most loyal and affectionate pets you will find. Find out more about these 6 hairless cat breeds.

What cat breed is hairless?

Hairless aren't actually 100% naked. They do have a very fine velvety-smooth layer with feels a little bit like peach skin. Not only are these cats extraordinary to look at, they also have a loving and playful personality. Here are 6 of the most common breeds of cats with no hair.

Sphynx – Cat with no fur

The Hairless Sphynx cat
The Shynx cat ©Shutterstock

This species has to be the most famous of all the hairless felines. First bred in 1966 from the parent cat named Prune who lived in Canada. This breed is extremely fun-loving and affectionate. Appearing in various colours such as cinnamon, black, white, chocolate, cream and even a spotted variety. Although not totally bald, they do have a light covering of fuzziness.

Donskoy – Another cute hairless cat

The Donskoy cat hairless
The Donskoy cat ©Shutterstock

Originating from Russia around 1987 and also known as Don Hairless, Russian Donskoy, Russian Hairless and even the Don Sphynx. With very similar characteristics to the Sphynx, however, having a different genetic makeup. While the Sphynx hairless cat breed has a recessive gene, the Donskey takes a dominant gene. These felines are very sociable animals and mix well with other pets. Easily trained to respond to commands and certainly very lovable and loyal kitties.

Peterbald – just as the name suggests (bald cat)

The Peterbald hairless cat
The Peterbald cat ©Shutterstock

This rather confusing hairless cat breed can actually, sometimes have hair too. However, the majority do lose their fur and have a peachy, velvet soft skin. Available in many different coat colours and markings. With a long rat-like tail, webbed feet and a long, narrow head, they are rather strange looking cats. A Peterbald kitten will often follow their owners from room to room as they don’t like being alone. This hairless feline has a strangely high metabolism that helps any wounds to heal quicker than normal.

Bambino – a tiny, hairless kitty

The Bambino hairless cat
The Bambino cat ©Shutterstock

The name of this cat breed means “baby” and is actually a cross between a Munchkin cat and a Sphynx. Because they are much smaller than other breeds of cats, they find difficulty when trying to jump and climb. However, this doesn’t detract from their playfulness. Classed as a dwarf breed of cat, they weigh anywhere between 4.9 and 8.8 pounds. Almost certainly guaranteed to love cuddles and have a huge personality.

Elf and Dwelf - hairless elf cats

The Elf hairless cat
The Elf cat ©Shutterstock

The Elf and Dwelf cat breeds are very similar, except for its size. The Elf is the large version of the Dwelf. In fact, the Dwelf names comes from a mix between "Elf" and "Dwarf". The elf is a cross between the American curl and the Sphynx and the Dwelf is a cross between these two breeds and the Munchkin as well. These two breeds have a very unique look with their curled ears that they inherited from their parent the American Curl. This hairless cat breed is very playful, energetic and because of its parent the Sphynx, almost has a dog-like personality.

Ukrainian Levkoy - naked cat

The Ukrainian Levkoy hairless cat
The Ukrainian Levkoy ©Shutterstock

The Ukrainian Levkoy cat is a cross between a female Donskoy and a male Scottish Fold. This hairless cat has a distinctive physique: inward-folded ears and a muscular body. They actually appear to have wrinkles on their body because of their soft and elastic skin. The Ukrainian Levkoy is a friendly and chilled cat.

How much does a hairless cat cost?

The Sphynx is considered to be one of the most expensive cat breeds. If you are looking to buy a Sphynx, the price range for a well bred pedigree kitten would be between £400 and £800 approximately.

Concerning the other hairless cat breeds it is difficult to set an average cost because these breeds are still quite rare.

If you are thinking of adopting or buying one of these hairless cat breeds, give the decision plenty of thought. It might be an idea to visit the shelter, or a breeder’s home to meet the kitten or cat first.

Are hairless cats good pets?

Yes, hairless cats are good pets because they are extremely affectionate, playful, loving and very intelligent. If you are looking for a cat that loves nothing more than to cuddle to its owner, the hairless cat is the cat breed you need. Because they don't have any fur, they will find any excuse to curl up in a ball on you to pick up your heat.

Do hairless cats have health problems?

Hairless cats don't have any different health problems than any other cats but they will require extra care and a lot of grooming. You will need to give a bath to your cat every week in order to remove the excess oil from their skin. Indeed, cats with fur absorb these oils but the hairless cat can't and this could lead to skin problems. Also, you will have to protect your hairless cat from sunburns and cold weather. Ask your vet for a friendly cat sunscreen and buy some cat sweaters for winter season.

Find out more about skin and fur problems your cat could have.

How long do hairless cats live for?

The hairless cat lives between 8 to 14 years.

Why choose a hairless cat breed

First of all, many people choose a hairless cat mainly because they themselves have allergies to felines with fur. Likewise, they can also be allergic to the dry skin of cats, very similar to human dandruff. However, even hairless cat breeds are not hypo-allergenic. The majority of felines don’t need to be bathed as they groom themselves. Certainly, though, a cat with no hair will need a frequent bath to reduce the dandruff (dry skin) that they create.

The origins of hairless cat breeds

It’s thought that around the turn of the 20th century, hairless felines were first introduced. A group of Pueblo Indians gifted some of these cats to a Mr E.J.Shinick. He bred from these exotic Aztec cats which at the time were given the name “Mexican Hairless Cats”. During the 1930s, in France, a female cat that had normal fur gave birth to a batch of hairless kittens. Popularity increased and in the 1960s, the Sphynx hairless cat breed was introduced.

Interesting facts about hairless cat breed

All of these hair-free cats have some common features.

No 1. What does a hairless cat feel like?

They are not totally hairless. Their name “hairless” is slightly misleading. Although these felines do actually look to be bald, their bodies are covered in fuzz, albeit it very fine. When touched, the best way to describe them is like a warm peach fruit.

No 2. Hairless cat breeds are not hypoallergenic

The main cause of allergens is the dander or the saliva, not the hair of a cat.

No 3. Cat breeds with no hair are more sensitive to changes in temperature

Of course, it’s obvious that a cat with no hair is going to feel cold. Many owners of various hairless cat breeds will provide a jacket or a blanket for them to snuggle under to keep warm. Likewise, a cat with no hair is more susceptible to sunburn risk.

No 4. The skin of a hairless cat is more sensitive and needs special care

A gentle moisturizer can be used to combat dryness on the sensitive skin of a hairless kitten. As surface oil builds up on the cat’s skin, a weekly bath is advised. Similarly, pay special attention to folds of the skin, paws, eyes and ears, where dirt can accumulate.

Hairless cats are fun, affectionate, loving and very intelligent. They do take a lot of upkeep and need weekly bathing and skin conditioning treatments.

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